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“Making Cancer History: Disease and Discovery at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center,” by James S. Olson, Ph.D., brings to life the struggle to understand and treat cancer through interviews with medical and research professionals, administrators and patients.


For nearly seven decades, MD Anderson has been at the forefront of innovation in cancer treatment and research. Reflecting on that legacy, a historian who has been treated here for two types of cancer has written a comprehensive overview of the institution from a personal perspective.

Making Cancer History: Disease and Discovery at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center,” by James S. Olson, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins University Press), brings to life the struggle to understand and treat cancer through interviews with medical and research professionals, administrators and patients. Olson also conducted painstaking research, studying more than 500,000 pages of historical documents.

Olson’s narrative relates the story of the cancer center’s founding as one of the first medical institutions devoted exclusively to caring for people with cancer and researching treatments for the disease. It examines MD Anderson’s role as a leading cancer institution that continues to set standards in cancer treatment and research.

Personal stories featuring employees, including several current and former faculty members, provide a glimpse of the institution’s formative years and its growth up to the present. Throughout the text, the author reflects on his own cancer journey.

News Release: Make No Small Plans: MD Anderson Cancer Center Endeavors to Make History


Making Cancer History: Disease and Discovery at
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

By James S. Olson
Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub. Date: May 7, 2009
Price: $35.00
Purchase the Book
ISBN: 13:978-0801890567